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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Piercing the Illusions of the Eco-Left



Friends, I recommend to you this excellent article, courtesy of FoxNews. Unlike the author, I don't doubt the reality of climate change, but his broader argument is a very important one: environmentalist rhetoric should not be confused with environmentalist action. Many politicians, celebrities, and corporate leaders talk a good game when it comes to climate change, carbon emissions, alternative energy, etc. The truth, however, is that, for all the blather, global emissions keep rising, and it is largely developing countries like China that are driving the trend. Emissions are modestly down in most developed countries, but that isn't because of alternative energy. It's largely because of fracking (which environmentalists hate), and the increased use of natural gas instead of oil and coal. The bottom line is that all the much-ballyhooed climate change agreements and pledges that you've heard about have produced real world consequences that are negligible in terms of the big picture of climate change. And, as this article points out, some of the countries that are the most holier-than-thou about protecting the planet are emitting more and more carbon. In the end, I predict the following: there will be climate change, and we will survive it. In addition, you can rely on the fact that few people will ever be willing to compromise their quality of life in the service of abstract ideals. Again, talk is cheap. Never forget that.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/07/28/us-cuts-carbon-emissions-more-than-foreign-nations-that-criticize-trump-environmental-policies.html

6 comments:

  1. Dr. Waddy: Good points and reference to a good article to support your view. I'm inclined to think that climate change is happening but am not convinced that it is caused by humans. I believe it to be agreed to by most scientists that empirical evidence shows that climate change has occurred throughout the history of the good old, mostly human free Earth.

    I think the "Environmental" (what a typically ill defined sophomoric boomer term that is - "like, he's really environmental you know") movement is the latest power grab by the unrelenting left after its catastrophic failures in politics, economics, social and soon, legal, policy. As always, they cannot abide the notion that perhaps enough has been done to effect a workable compromise in the solution of, yes, real problems. Having grown up in super polluted Buffalo I'm glad there has been such an improvement in the air and water (even though it came at the cost of our heavy industry way of life - oh well, that may have been on the way out anyway, due to leftist excess in social policy). But enough already! I think a simple, reasonable answer to further pollution has been found in, hooray, a resource of which we have what,again, reasonable people can consider limitless amounts - natural gas. No its not perfect but its good enough (the movement hates fracking because its working). And the use of wind, solar and water generated power helps. We can be content in knowing this problem is being addressed adequately, as the empirical evidence you provided above suggests. It also helps to know it frees us from the shameful dependence we had in 1973 on foreign sources which exposed us to grave national security concerns.

    But such considerations are anathema to the left for the following reasons: they free the hated U.S. from deserved forced punishment and fundamental legal, economic, social and governmental transformation for its manifestly and uniquely evil misuse of our planet ; in addition they rob the never satisfied left of yet another cause they seek to use to take us on yet another endless hellish journey to utopia. Let them stew in their perfectionist juices while we prosper.

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  2. You're right, Jack: an unholy alliance has been formed between "environmentalists" and utopian socialists. Concerns about climate change and other ills have been advanced as justification for any number of leftist social experiments, and the most arcane connections have been made from the environment to...racism, sexism, capitalism, etc. Did you know that starting your car's engine was a racist act? Duh! Of course it is.

    Personally, I think it's plausible that the earth is warming, and humans are partially to blame. What I don't accept, though, is that we KNOW the full consequences of these (mostly prospective) changes to the climate, or that all of them will be bad. I see way too much group-think on the Left in that regard.

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  3. Dr. Waddy: By their lights, leftists "know" exactly what will happen in regard to imminent global immolation should we fail to turn our government and our economy over to Al Gore as we should have done in 2000. Just as Comrade Stalin and Chairman Mao's pronunciamentos, from politics to basket weaving, were irrefutable (literally) so the "environmental" left's visions of the future cannot be questioned except by the morally and intellectually bereft, who richly deserve whatever excoriation comes their unprincipled way. This is a familiar phenomenom and its tiresome to have to face it yet again but the curse of political correctness and the evil it enables has not run its course, yet. I would estimate I have started car engines some 37,519 times so I am obviously beyond redemption. The Buffalo News recently had an article about how a years long effort to reclaim the Buffalo River has been declared "fulfilled" but also includes comments to the effect of 'well, this is just the start". Ok, that might be innocuous on the face of it but it could also be the perfectionists once again affirming their determination never to give up. Reclaiming the river also meant destroying thousands of jobs so what's next? Depopulate everything with 1000 yards of the river?

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  4. As you pointed out, Jack, the environment is in many ways in vastly better shape than it was a generation or two ago. It's our very prosperity, moreover, that affords us the luxury of CARING about the environment in the first place. It would be nice if environmentalists would stop their doom-saying long enough to acknowledge all the progress we've made, but no -- they prefer to wallow in despair.

    The truth, I think, is that it's perfectly clear that we won't "solve" climate change in the sense of making radical reforms and massive reductions in carbon emissions. What that means is that we can sit back and anticipate death by broiling, or we can HOPE things won't be so bad, or, if they are, that what humans broke they might just be able to fix. Personally, I always like to look on the bright side!

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  5. Dr. Waddy:Certainly agree; it is our blessed prosperity which allows us the luxury of the attention we pay to trees and bugs and things. We are being pretty cheeky when we admonish countries emerging from hellish poverty that they better get "environmental"about it and unless we build a bubble over the U.S., we are going to be effected as they do what they must to develop. Ben Franklin took a trip through parts of preindustrial rural England and was stunned and appalled by the poverty he saw. Early industrial London and Birmingham might have had bad air but at least they offered some hope of a living.

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  6. Quite so, Jack! I don't see many leftists volunteering to give up the fruits of civilization... That's par for the course.

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